Well, Bizarre Love Tetrarchy never made the charts, so you get what you get. Also, there is what could be a triangle involved, but that comes down the post. I was doing a little wandering outside of my usual areas this last month and found some interesting coins and thought I would share them with you. Like I mentioned before, I do have a thing for collecting LRB's by series/mintmark/officina details. Which is another way of saying, "I like to hoard Late Roman Bronze coins." But whatever. The coins in this post are all from about the same one hundred year period, from the Tetrarchy to Arcadius. During this period you see some changes in the coinage which I think prompt most people to say, "Great. More LRBs." The portraits of the emperors become stylized so much as to become generic. The content of the coins both in terms of metallic value and design variety becomes very disappointing when compared to the choices in designs and artistic quality of the earlier Empire. With the family of Constantine, hesitance to use a portrait with a diademed head (considered a hallmark of Eastern style rulers, it was avoided while some trappings of the Republic were still maintained in theory if not in political reality) falls away and becomes a standard on LRB. Most mints are producing the same type of coins you have seen so many times at shows and on eBay. GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, GLORIA EXERCITVS, SOLI INVICTO COMITI, IOVI CONSERVATORI. This first coin is one of the above. An issue of Galerius, this coin is attractive to me because it is still a large size (27.0mm) follis, so a nice chunk of bronze. While the portrait also looks similar to Licinius for example, it still is recognizable as a representation of a living human. At $6, it is a nice coin with significant size and detail. Also, I just do not have a lot of Galerius, so I take the chance to own a nice coin at a cheap price. Galerius, Follis, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI AE Follis Galerius Caesar: 293 - 305AD Augustus: March 1, 205 - May 5, 311AD Issued: 300 - 301AD 27.0mm 9.60gr 6h O: GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES; Laureate head, right. R: GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI; Genius standing left, modius on head, chlamys over shoulder, holding patera and cornucopiae. Exergue: (Dot) TSA (Dot) Thessalonica Mint RIC VI Thessalonica 22b, A. Aorta: B18, O13, R42, T43, M14. Moving on to Constantine, you start to see the changes which most people find boring. The coinage reform of Diocletian brings a reduced size follis. Portraits start to look the same, regardless of ruler. But! There are things to be interested in if you look closely. The helmeted portraits of Constantine are my favorite bust type. There are many variations on the helmeted busts including type of helmet, type of helmet decoration, style of plume at the top, ear covers (!), etc. This example is no different, with a striking portrait of Constantine. The reverse has its fun details too. I enjoy the LAETAE series because I think I like the iconography of the two Victories holding the shield. What is interesting to find it that there are something like 7 or 8 altar types for this mint alone. I posted another coin in my recent Tetrarchy thread with a diamond pattern on the altar. This coin's altar displays a star. Constantine I, Follis, VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP AE Follis Constantine I Caesar: 306 - 307AD Augustus: 307 - 337AD Issued: 318 - 319AD 20.5 x 18.0mm 3.10gr 6h O: IMP CONSTAN-TINVS MAX AVG; Laureate, helmeted, cuirassed bust, right. R: VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP; Two victories standing, facing each other, placing shield inscribed with VOT/PR on altar decorated with a star. Exergue: TT Ticinum Mint RIC VII Ticinum 82; Rarity R1 Aorta: 1192: B43, O55, R221, T235, M18. For reference, here is the other coin with different altar design I just mentioned: Constantine I, Follis, VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP AE Follis Constantine I Caesar: 306 - 307AD Augustus: 307 - 337AD Issued: 319AD 19.0 x 18.5mm 2.50gr 0h O: IMP CONSTAN-TINVS AVG; High crested-helmeted, cuirassed bust left, holding spear over shoulder. Two stars in helmet fields; three dots from helmet crown to temple. R: VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP; Two Victories standing facing each other, together holding shield reading VOT/PR on altar with diamond and five dots pattern. Exergue: TARL, below line. Arles Mint RIC VII Arles 195; Sear (200) 16299. Aorta: 855: B24, O53, R221, T235, M4. My second new coin of Constantine is interesting because of a relatively small detail. It is the officinal mark. The coin is not the prettiest, but everything is legible. The officinal mark in the center of the letter sequence under the wreath is legible but unintelligible unless you know what you are looking for basically. It reads, R (ligate, in Greek) eros P. "ερωσ," is transliterated as "eros" which translated into Latin is "amor," or "love" when translated again into English. More importantly, "Amor" is "Roma" spelled backwards. Romans had an interest in palindromes and this was the unutterable secret name of Rome, hidden in ligate Greek on their coins. I am not certain why this would have been chosen as a officinal mark without making guesses that are not supported in fact. The marks are found across the coinages of all of the issues during 320-321AD. Was it a silent protest for those in the know concerning Constantine's embrace of Christianity? Who knows. Interesting none the less. Constantine I, Follis, DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG AE Follis Constantine I Caesar: 306 - 307AD Augustus: 307 - 337AD Issued: 320 - 321AD 19.0mm 2.00gr 0h O: CONSTA-NTINVS AVG; Laureate head, right. R: DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG; Wreath, VOT/(Dot)/XX, within. Exergue: RερωσP Rome Mint Rarity R3 RIC VII Rome 225 Aorta: 1358: B59, O4, R46, T300, M13. Finally, as we move to the end of the fourth century, we come to Emperor Valens. As you can see by this common but nice LRB, the stylization of portraiture and standardization of legend types are in full swing. Valens, AE3, GLORIA ROMANORVM AE3 Valens Augustus: March 28, 364 - August 9, 378AD Issued: February 25, 364 - August 24, 367AD 18.5mm 2.50gr 0h O: DN VALEN-S PF AVG; Diademed (pearls), draped and cuirassed bust, right. R: GLORIA RO-MANORVM; Valens advancing right, dragging captive and holding labarum. Exergue: SMKΔ RIC IX Cyzicus 8b Aorta: 508: B4, O7, R8, T15, M6. And finally, the triangle. Arcadius, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, was named emperor as a boy and co ruled with his father Theodosius I and brother Honorius. This arrangement was denoted on coins of the emperors by adjusting the ending of the abbreviation for augustus on coins from AVG to AVGGG. These coins, while not terribly rare, are usually not struck well or are heavily circulated. Here is an example of CONCORDIA AVGGG which is neither of those things. Arcadius, AE3, CONCORDIA AVGGG AE3 Arcadius Augustus: January 19, 383 - May 1, 408AD Issued: August 9, 378 - August 25, 383AD 18.5 x 17.5mm 1.90gr 7h O: DN ARCADIVS PF AVG; Diademed (pearls), draped and cuirassed small bust, right. R: CONCOR-DIA AVGGG; Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, holding long scepter and globe; prow under right foot. Exergue: (Palm branch), angled left, left field; ligate HN, right field; SMNA, below. Nicomedia Mint Rated R4 RIC IX Nicomedia 31c Thanks for reading. Hope you are still awake at this point, haha. Share anything and everything!